In addition to finally seeing a relief from the unending heat of the summer, there’s another reason to look forward to the upcoming seasons — energy savings. If you follow the fall and winter energy-saving tips that we’ve outlined below, you’ll help the environment while lowering your monthly energy bills.
- Plan for scheduled maintenance — To keep your heating equipment in good working order, you should call a professional technician for a tune-up. In addition to improving its energy efficiency, a tune-up will prolong the life of your system.
- Know when to replace your furnace — Many homeowners continue to use old furnaces that are far past their prime because they don’t want to deal with the cost of a replacement. What they don’t realize is that an old system that isn’t operating properly is wasting money every day it’s in use. While it’s true that the purchase of a brand new furnace will set you back a bit, newer models backed by Energy Star are more efficient than ever before. Which means you’ll save energy and money for years to come.
- Switch to CFLs — If your home is still full of incandescent light bulbs, you’re wasting a lot of energy for no reason. These traditional bulbs have been replaced by more energy-efficient types such as CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps), which use considerably less energy to do the same job.
- Unplug your energy vampires — If you’re not familiar with the term, energy vampires refer to devices that continue to use a small amount of energy despite being turned off. These include cell phone chargers, printers, DVD players, and many others. To stop this from happening, what you want to do is either unplug them or group them together with surge protectors and switch off each unit when its components are not in use.
- Purchase a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat — Although there are several fall and winter energy-saving tips that you can follow, an especially important one to consider is the installation of a more advanced thermostat. Both programmable and Wi-Fi models give you the ability to set the times in which your heating equipment is in operation, but if you decide to go Wi-Fi, you’ll get the added feature of being able to make changes remotely, either through an Internet or Wi-Fi connection.
- Lower your water usage — If you pay attention to your water usage, you’ll not only save money on that front, but you’ll also lower your heating bill. For example, we all love long, soothing showers, but this can easily use a lot of hot water, which needs to be replaced. To solve this problem, you should cut your showers short. Another technique is to limit washing clothes and dishes to times when you can provide a full load. And don’t forget to switch to low-flow shower heads and toilets, whenever possible.
- Mind your fireplace — The techniques that you employ to save energy and money via your fireplace depends on whether or not you plan for it to be in operation during the fall and/or winter. If you plan to use your fireplace, then you should clean its chimney to allow for more air flow, thereby improving your home’s energy efficiency. If you don’t plan on using it, then it’s a good idea to plug and seal the fireplace flue.
- Pay more attention to your water heater — The first thing you should do with your water heater is make sure that its temperature setting is on medium. The high setting will waste energy and often cause the water to scald you. The medium setting (120 degrees) is ideal. Plus, you should wrap a blanket around the water heater in order to insulate it.
- Consider alternative heating and energy — There are many fall and winter energy-saving tips available, but few of them will help save the environment while lowering your energy costs. Many households have already discovered the fascinating world of geothermal heating, which can save you loads of money. The best way to prove your solidarity with those who want to save the environment, however, is to install solar panels. These panels will allow you to save quite a bit of money, and you may even be able to sell some of the energy to your local power company.
For more expert advice on fall and winter energy-saving tips or any other issues related to home comfort, please contact the friendly professionals at Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the needs of South Georgia and North Florida since 1965.
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